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Maristela Moon

daughter of cybele • silken moonstone
from the rise and fall of the silk road


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  • Name: Maristela Dal-Ha Moon (門月河 / 문달하)
  • Age: Approx. 2,000 years old (born ~103 BCE)
  • Mortal Parent: Li Guangli (deceased)
  • Godly Parent: Cybele


Maristela's aura is serene but mysterious, much like the moon she is always named after. She keeps her head down and stays out of everyone else's business. She prefers to work in silence rather than join people in conversation, most often found doing all kinds of handiwork including sewing and painting. Any inquiries about herself or her past would be answered with silence or deflection.

She has a natural motherly aura and thus, children flock around her, something that Maristela really enjoys. The happiest years of her life were when she had a family of her own, so she attributes children to happiness. This also means that she has the protective drive of a mother bear. Seeing younger kiddos hurt triggers her strongly and it will end up with people getting strangled by vines.

The lack of consistency and permanence in her life makes the concept of love, family and home, less of a permanent comfort and more of a temporary solace. She is afraid of forming deep emotional bonds with anyone and keeps everyone at arm's length. The first and only time she let people in her heart ended up leaving her with severely painful emotional scars that remain unhealed even to this day.

Her time in Xuantu and Lintun made her develop androphobia. In present-day, it isn't as severe as it was during the 80s-70s BC but she is more inclined to trust women than men.

She has a special love for the Moon. It's been with her since she was born and Artemis saved her and made her immortal. She shows this by using names related to the moon and giving tribute to all the moon deity temples she could find in her travels.


Deep beneath the ruins of Chang'an is a sanctuary, untouched by the flow of time and the expansion of civilization.

In this sanctuary was a woman who had slumbered for aeons. With her beloved tiger curled around and slumbering with her, she dreams.

She dreams of times lost long ago, all the way back to when the world was still beginning to learn more about itself.

She dreams of a war...

The War of the Heavenly Horses.

Dayuan had fallen.

Chosen General Li Guangli returned home, carrying victory and a promise.

...of a roll of silk unfurling...

Rong (荣) — glory, honour, flourish, prosper

Rong. She was Rong. She was a promise of glory, a promise of honour, a promise of an era of prosperity.

She will travel far and wide, bringing back riches you've never seen before. She shall cross seas and steppes, and chase the moon over the horizon. Keep her and treat her well. Raise her to be honourable. Do this and your family shall prosper forevermore. Neglect her and the Fates shall neglect you.

–Cybele to Li Guangli

...of a big, forboding house...

She was told that this was would be her home. She was told that she would have everything she wanted here.

She was told lies.

...of looming spectres, eyes glinting a deep blood red...

Instead, she received disgust. She received anger. She received hatred.

Glances of disgust crawled on her skin. Words of anger carved themselves into her bones. A house of hatred crushed her soul.

She dreams of pain blooming on soil watered by desperation, and hope...

She bowed to them. She bled for them. She did all that she can, just for a drop of warmth.

It wasn't enough.

Still, she held hope. Hope fluttered in her heart, small as it may be, and she tended to it with warmth and love, everything that wasn't given to her.

...fluttering weakly against the whispers of an open flame...

And then in her twelfth year...

Horses of hellfire tore into her life. Screams danced a morbid dance with the sounds of hooves against stone. The inferno licked and climbed its way into the sky, obscuring even the full moon.

...and swallowed with nothing but a strangled gasp.

That night, they lost 12 members. That night, the flutterings of hope fell silent.

Bringer of misfortune, they called her. Something within her felt inclined to agree. Maybe she was a bringer of misfortune.

She dreams of moonlight passing through the four bars of a window...

Two full moons have passed. Lady Li, her father's wife, was imprisoned at the capital, deemed guilty of a political scandal.

In the house, Rong was imprisoned as well, deemed guilty of bringing more misfortune into their lives

...and four drops of tears hitting the cold, hard floor.

Su (素) — plain, simple

Su. She was Su. She was unwanted, plain and simple.

She dreams of silk reaching towards the sun, its gleam dull...

You are Su. You are Plain. Your father was great, but your mother was nothing. You were taught nothing, thus you shall be nothing and you shall die as you were born: unwanted. Remember this, girl, and remember it well.

–Young Lady Li

Her father was dead.

She was sent away to the East, to the Xuantu Commandery.

She was now a lowly maid, stripped of the name bestowed by her mother. She doesn't deserve the name. After all, she was a plain, simple, unwanted bringer of misfortune. Her name should be fitting.

She dreams of a house of jade...

The Luos were carved from jade. Though they were not warm, their eyes did not shine with hatred and disgust.

She was a maid. People did not look at her at all. They called for her, they ordered her around, but they did not touch her. They did not look at her.

That was fine for her.

This time, her life will not hurt. She promises herself, it will not hurt.

It will not hurt.

...but from its walls dripped poison.

Lord Luo gave her certain looks. His daughter Young Lady Luo's betrothed was looking at her the same way too.

It made her skin crawl. She doesn't like it. She didn't say anything though, it wasn't her place.

Lady Luo, Lord Luo's wife, and Young Lady Luo noticed. They didn't like it too.

Drip, drip, drip the poison went...

They made their disdain known not to the men, but to her.

They hated her.

Drip went the poison onto her skin...

Every look from the men was rewarded with a slap.

Drip went the poison onto her bone...

Every praise from the men was rewarded with a twist on her arm.

Drip went the poison onto her soul...

When the men went too far, she was blamed.

If you knew your place, this wouldn't have happened!

But she did...

You should've kept your head down!

But she did...

You really are this ungrateful... Wretched child.

But she wasn't...

Was she...?

You are a budding beauty, but your flowers are poisonous.

–Lady Luo to Su

She dreams of poison flooding from each crevice of the house...

That night, she cries.

In the darkness of her room-turned-prison, she cries.

She cries for the cold digging itself deep into her core. She cries for the broken promises she made to herself. She cries for her life had fallen into shambles. She cries for everything she had lost.

That night, she cries with only the Moon as her witness.

...and of herself getting washed way.

The silk twists and turns, slithering slowly but surely to a shining mound.

The morning after, she is dismissed from her position and is sent to Dunhuang.

She dreams of floating in a sea of calm...

The family that welcomed her was nothing like the previous families that took her in.

She was still a servant expected to serve and obey them but this time around, it was different.

...whose waves soothed her scars...

They weren’t warm, but they weren't cold. They weren't loving, but they weren't full of hate.

She was their servant, but they treated her with respect. They treated her like an actual human being.

For her, that was enough. That was more than enough.

...for just a bit... Just a bit.

They taught her a lot, especially about silk.

She was taught how to weave silk, how to paint on silk, how to tell the quality of the silk.

All of this in exchange for one simple thing: protect the traditions. Never let those of foreign blood learn of the secrets of the Descendants of Yan and Huang.

She agreed. It was a small, simple price to pay for the only comfort she'd felt since she was born.

She dreams of a road, stretching towards where the sun kisses the horizon at dusk.

They're travelling to Shule, a city to the west.

As a servant, she wouldn't have been allowed to go with them. But then she showed incredible promise in weaving and handling silk. The quality of the silk she wove and painted was unlike anything they had ever seen, and they weren't about to waste that talent.

They never make it to Shule safely.

She dreams of the stars, going off one by one...

In the dead of night, while they were deep in slumber, monsters of the dark pounced on them.

The monsters left none unscathed.

...and the westward silk growing dimmer and dimmer.

As Su lay there with her life steadily ebbing away from her, she gazes at the Moon.

She dreams of the silent gaze of the Moon...

The Moon was especially bright that night. There were no clouds sailing lazily around it and the stars seemed to reflect the Moon's radiance.

Staring at the Moon settled something within her. Staring at the Moon let her fears flow out and away from her. Staring at the Moon made death feel a little less scary. Staring at the Moon let her accept her fate better.

With the Moon as her final and only source of comfort, she let herself drift farther and farther.

...and how its light seemed to revitalise the fading silk.

The last thing she saw was a woman crowned with moonlight, bow over her shoulder and deer at her side.

She drifts in cold, cold darkness... until she feels something tug at her very soul.

You know not of me nor of faith to the deities but your complete trust and faith on the Moon in your last moments shall be rewarded.

–Artemis to a dying Su

The Moon saved her from the brink of death. The Moon gave her everlasting life. The Moon saw something in her that deserved to live.

The Moon gave her a second chance, and she wasn't wasting that.

She dreams of an oasis crowned by lotus flowers…

Yue (月) — Moon

Yue. She was Yue. She was saved by the Moon.

Her life restarts in Shule.

The family that found her wandering after that fateful night took her in as their own. Not as a helper nor as a servant, but as someone part of them.

…and of herself being embraced by its waters.

They were merchants too, she found out. Silk merchants.

They let her help around with the inventory. They taught her how to read and write. They taught her the basics of trading. They taught her how to cook.

Under their care, Yue bloomed. She felt safe and cared for. She felt useful and wanted.

She felt free.

She dreams of a river and a storm…

Three years later, her life is uprooted again.

Three years later, she loses all of them to monsters on the banks of the Amu Darya.

She’s the only one of their group left standing by the end, protected by powers she never knew she had. The elements of nature all around her responded to her fear. They wiped out the monsters. But with her lack of control, they wiped out her companions too.

By the end of it, she was alone in a sea of debris.

…and of a speck of light in its eye…

At least, that’s what she thought.

She was consoled by a Caspian tiger, one of the few who answered her powers’ call.

…embracing her as the storm raged on.

Darya. The tiger was named Darya.

She understood Darya and Darya understood her. They understood each other beyond simple words. They both lost those they cared about in the attack.

Together, they moved forward.

She dreams of silk weaving itself around a field of marjoram…

Maha (𐎶𐎠𐏃) — Moon, month

Maha. She was Maha. She was blessed by the Moon.

Maha and Darya begin a new life in Merv.

She used the skills her family taught her and made herself useful to the people of Merv. The people soon knew her as an expert of silk. They go to her for her knowledge of silks. They go to her for the highest quality silk around.

Darya became the local protector of their area. The children play with her. The adults thank her by feeding her.

They were healing, bit by bit.

…and of winds pressing a sweet kiss on her cheek.

In Merv, Maha met Shirin.

Shirin was like her. A demigod.

But unlike her, Shirin could command the winds and lightning.

Shirin taught her how to control her powers, to treat them as they are extensions of her. She taught her that she was worth it, that happiness was not a dream, but a reality.

Maha taught Shirin how to paint, to translate her turbulent emotions to beautiful images on silk. She taught her that there was more to life than fighting, that peace was something she could grasp now.

Shirin knew Maha would outlive her, but she cared little about it.

I will follow you til the end of my time. I will find you in my next life and the lives that would follow. My heart and soul are yours for as long as you will accept them. I will love you for as long as you will have me.

–Shirin to Maha

Maha loved Shirin.

Shirin loved her back.

It was as simple as that.

She dreams of a woman enthroned on a mountain, a lion by her side and an unmoving tiger by her feet…

She met her mother the day she lost Darya.

They were travelling to Ecbatana when they were ambushed.

Darya was older then, moving slower than she did at her prime. She falls once the first rays of dawn touched the sky.

Maha called for help. She called for the Moon who restored her life, her patron. She called for the one who gave her life, her mother.

Her mother answered.

…and how the woman breathed life back to the tiger, words of regret and of hope falling from her mouth.

She protected you when I couldn't. She was a mother to you when I wasn't. She has done more for you than I could ever hope, and I hope my gifts to her will continue to help her do so.

–Cybele to Maha

Darya was restored to her prime. She was blessed with the strength that she did not possess before.

Darya and Maha's strings were now intertwined. For as long as Maha lives and walks upon the earth, Darya shall follow her.

She dreams of a hill, a place of gathering, and how it calls for the silk with a gentle hum…

Their life was renewed in Ecbatana.

They had their own home. Shirin helped defend the city. Maha continued her silk business.

And soon, they had their own daughter.

…and of embracing a small flame, beloved by her and by the winds that kissed her cheek sweetly.

Aynaz was also a demigod, whose smiles burned bright like the fires she conjures.

Shirin found her flickering weakly in the darker corners of the city and brought her home. Together, she and Maha tended to the dying flame and watched as it began to burn and dance brightly once more.

It was perfect.

Maha had a home. She had a family. After everything, she was finally, unequivocally happy.

The blank silk canvas of her life was finally gaining the colours it desired.

Something cracks in the distance…

The lycoris field blooms…

In the blink of an eye, she lost everything she ever held dear.

After a trip with Darya to the other side of town, she was greeted by a nightmare.


Her home was bathed in red.

The wind ceases whistling…

The flame sputters out…

Shirin and Aynaz looked so peaceful…

Maha only wished she could join them.

The sheen of silk fades, slithering farther and farther…

All the way to the Queen of Cities…

Aysel — Moon river/stream/flood

Aysel. She was Aysel. She was like a river, always flowing and never stopping.

She moved further west. She traded silk. She traded ideas. She traded experiences.

But not once has she opened her heart to another ever again.

She arrived at Constantinople. There, she became known as the silent silk trader with a tiger by her side.

She dreams of crossing fields and steppes, of faceless figures passing her by…

She didn't stay in Constantinople for long. She travelled up and down the roads of Palmyra - Antiochia - Angora - Constantinople. She met different people from different empires, different cities, and different cultures. She learned from them, they learned from her.

She never went back to or past Ecbatana. She never went past Constantinople. She was stuck in a loop she didn't seem to want to get out of.

…of a beacon, shining far in the south of the sun…

In the year 166 AD, she returned to her father's homeland, joining an envoy that successfully travelled from the Persian Gulf to the Rinan commandery.

From Luoyang, she travelled once more. She retraced the roads she took more than 2 centuries ago when she was still young and afraid.

…of the roads she walked on long, long ago…

She told Darya about all of the lives she had lived by visiting the "homes" where each life sprouted.

She visited the estate of her father, now inhabited by people who haven't an inkling of who she was, of who Rong was.

She visited the house of the family who taught her about silk, all the way back when she was still Su.

She visited the house of the family who took her in as Yue and first taught her about the warmth a family could give.

She wondered if her Shirin and her Aynaz have been reborn and if they were looking for her.

…of the footprints she left…

Each visit, she thought about her different names, her different identities. Each of them felt like a different person.

She thought about how she changed as she shed each name, each identity for every major event in her life.

She concluded that change is inevitable. She concluded that change itself is neither good or bad, what mattered is how she coped with it.

She resolved to be better at facing change.

And the first thing she must do was finally facing her life's worst change: the one she was running away from.

…and of the mountains of Heaven, showing her a new road to trek.

They changed routes once they left Dunhuang. They headed for the route closest to the Tian Shan, the one going through the cities of Luolan and Korla on the edge of the Taklamakan desert.

In the cities of Kucha and Aksu, she began to wonder about the empire past Constantinople, the one ruled by the Emperor whose envoy brought her back to her father's homeland.

The empire should be her next destination, a good place to start anew once more.

She dreams of an eagle and a wolf leading the silk…

She followed the Western traders heading their way home from the East.

She saw how much the cities on the route have changed. She saw new settlements she never saw before.

Somewhere deep beneath her, she feared for what she would see once they reached Merv. She feared what she would feel once they reached Ecbatana.

She feared that like her, Shirin and Aynaz were unable to move on, their restless souls tethered to where they met their ends.

Darya comforted her. Darya grounded her. And for that, she was thankful.

…to the fields where the lycoris once bloomed…

Merv had changed.

Long gone were the roads and faces she once knew so well. Long gone were the friends she made, the children she played with, and the house she once called home.

Walking through a changed Merv puts into perspective just how much time had passed to transform a city Aysel knew like the back of her palm to a city she barely recognises anymore.

Ecbatana had changed too.

It wasn't the Ecbatana of her happy memories anymore. It also wasn't the Ecbatana of her nightmares either. This Ecbatana, like Merv, had been reborn anew. Not a trace of her Ecbatana remained.

The place where her last home with- with Shirin and Aynaz once stood was an open space, a blank slate. The place where the graves of her wife and daughter were was now overgrown with shrubs and greenery.

Shirin and Aynaz weren't tethered here as she feared. Their souls were able to move on. Their final resting places were peaceful.

Those places... moved on. They moved on with time. Though the scars of the past still remained (the remains of the foundations, the slightly reddish tint of the ground, the eroding gravestones), the places grew and evolved from those. They grew from markings of sorrow into places with potential for growth.

Aysel could really learn from that.

…and finally, to the river whose waters are still.

Lunatriste — Sadness of the Moon

Lunatriste. She was Lunatriste. She was healing, but she was still sad. She was learning that it was okay to be sad.

Rome was unlike anything she had ever seen. The very air of Rome carried a powerful undertone that screams You are in the heart of one of the greatest Empires the world has ever seen.

She dreams of the river overflowing with silk and gold…

Rome was also very, very enamoured with silk. Her business flourished there. The Romans believed silk grew from trees. She never corrected them.

She watched as plain silk replaced yarn. She watched as the Roman Senate tried to keep the public's silk frenzy under wraps and fail every time. She watched an outflow of gold as the Romans continued to bend over backwards for silk.

…and of the moon at the tip of her fingertips.

In Rome, she reconnected with the goddess whose name she does not know and to whom she had pledged herself long, long ago. In Rome, she fulfilled all her promises to the Moon that saved her. In Rome, she finally repaid the debt that she owed.

She wondered if Shirin and Aynaz were proud of her, wherever they were now.

Were they looking for her?

For a long time, she stayed in the Roman Empire, letting her grief and sadness ebb away like how gold ebbed from the hands and pockets of the Romans. For a long time, she stayed still, watching as grief and sadness and pain and time slip through her fingers like gently flowing water.

The time came again when she felt the urge to move. Her time in Rome was done.

The East was calling her.

She dreams of crossing steppes and seas…

Selanna (σελᾰ́ννᾱ) — Moon

Selanna. She was Selanna. She was rooted in no place. She only followed the Moon and the road of silk laid before her, and her only constant companion was Darya.

Eight centuries. She vaguely remembered eight centuries of nothing but travelling, going back and forth between the East and the West. Eight centuries of getting to know the routes she travelled and the cultures she interacted with. Eight centuries of feeling more and more connected with the routes that would soon come to be known as the Silk Road.

…of pillars and bridges rising and forming…

She watched empires and kingdoms rise and fall.

She watched the Tang dynasty usher a golden age of trading and commerce on the routes she knew like the back of her hand. She watched them clash against the Western and Eastern Turks. She watched them spread throughout land and sea.

She watched how the Byzantine Empire built its own silk industry during the reign of Emperor Justinian I, though they could never quite reach the quality of Chinese silk.

She watched the rise of Baghdad and how it grew to become the most important city on the Silk Road.

She watched how the routes allowed the Mongol Empire to politically unite zones that were only loosely tied through trade.

She watched how the Tang dynasty fell; first to the Abbasid Caliphate, and then to the Tibetan Empire.

She watched the Mongol Empire grew to dominate the trading routes conquest after conquest.

She watched as the routes rose to prominence... and soon descended to disintegration.

…and how they eventually unravel, thread by silky thread.

Her strength waned.

Her routes became devastated with the Plague.

The Byzantine Empire was sinking further into decay. The Mongol Empire was breaking into pieces. The Safavid Empire was collapsing. China was closing its doors to those it doesn't recognise as their own.

Traders travelled less and less on her routes as maritime routes began to overshadow overland travel.

Then the people with gunpowder came.

That's when she felt a pull towards the home of her father: Chang'an.

She dreams of a promise of rest, of perpetual peace…

The pull had lead her to a sanctuary deep within the mountains south of Chang'an.

At its heart is a clearing, illuminated by the full moon above.

The roads have laid to rest. something whispered to her.

Come, it beckoned. Rest.

Selanna laid upon the grass of the clearing, her head pillowed on Darya's fur.

Moonlight shall blanket you, and nature shall nourish you…

The last things she saw were the full moon and how its light shined off the silk threads steadily weaving themselves together.

…and of silk furling with a sigh.

Maristela Dal-Ha (月河 / 달하) — Sea of stars; moon river

She dreams of something tugging gently at the resting silk…

…of something tapping at her slumbering consciousness.

Wake, it coaxed.

The roads have stirred from their slumber.

She dreams of the silk unfurling once more…

…and of a beacon shining farther West than she had ever gone.

The roads have grown. The roads have stretched far towards the east, towards the west, towards the south.

Her cocoon breaks.

She takes in a breath. your eyes...

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Maristela Dal-Ha Moon. She is Maristela Dal-Ha Moon. She was named by Artemis, her goddess and patron.

She woke up in a world so vastly different from her own. She woke up in a world that no longer needed her.

But an underlying hum beneath her skin urges her to travel, to trek across land and sea once more. And so she did.

There came the day she discovered Camp Half-Blood, a sanctuary for those like her—demigods. Perhaps, she can stay here for a while.

Just for a while.



  1. Children of Cybele have the ability to transform any aspect of earth into any weapon they desire. Only one weapon can be created at a time and it cannot be bigger than the one who created it.
  2. Children of Cybele can create a small tornado formed of leaves and grass blades. As the floral tornado spins faster, the leaves and grass blades become hard and strong enough to cut an someone. When the tornado's at it's fastest, the child can launch the blades of grass and the leaves at an opponent.


  1. Children of Cybele have the ability to make an opponent feel as if their feet have become hardened and stuck to the ground, making their movements slower.If the user attacks while this power is in effect, it automatically wears off. So the power is purely defensive.
  2. Children of Cybele are able to create a earth wall, no larger than 2 to 3 times the size of the user, to temporarily block attacks.


  1. Children of Cybele have the innate ability to communicate with all wild animals.
  2. Children of Cybele become more sensitive to their surroundings and feel stronger when in mountains, caves and forests.
  3. Children of Cybele heal faster when they touch a piece of nature such as a tree or a flower.


  1. Children of Cybele can telekinetically move elements of nature, such as rocks, plants and vines. The part of nature must be roughly two to four meters away from the child, cannot be 2 or 3 the size of the user. The bigger the element of nature and the more elements moved, the more energy is drained.
  2. Children of Cybele can create small boulders roughly two times the size of the child, this can be used for a diversion, hiding, or thrown as a weapon. However the longer the boulder is used, the more energy is drained.
  3. Children of Cybele have the innate ability to call upon all nearby wild animals for aid in battling, as well as take control over animals that others are controlling (such as a child of Zeus with birds or a child of Poseidon with horses etc.). The larger the group of animals, the more energy is drained.
  4. Children of Cybele can use dirt, mud, rock, stone, etc to teleport anywhere on Earth. Which could be known as Earth-Travel. The user merges with the earth beneath them and reforms elsewhere. The further they travel the more energy it drains.

3 Months After Character is Made

  1. Children of Cybele have the ability to create quicksand pits around a small area for a short time, the larger the quicksand pit is, the more energy is drained.

6 Months After Character is Made

  1. Children of Cybele can create a powerful quake affecting everything within 10 meters of them. The power of the quake can be scaled depending on how long the user wants it to last. A quake that just knocks the opponent over may last 20 seconds. A quake that throws them a few feet in the air may last 5. Finally, the whole quake may be focused into a single shock-wave with the power to bounce a car a half meter or so. This requires several moments of focus beforehand, lasts only a few seconds, and can only be used once every few hours. During the quake, the user is immobile. The user is quite drained after the earthquake subsides.

9 Months After Character is Made

  1. Children of Cybele have the ability to morph into a lion/lioness for a short time. They can turn into either a full lion or a humanoid cat form. In the human/lion form, they are twice as faster and stronger than before. Their senses are also quite sharper as well. They also tend to be more violent and volatile in this state. Once the transformation ends, the user is extremely drained. Using the hybrid form is more draining rather than the full lion form. They will not be able to move and could possibly faint.


  1. Children of Cybele typically love animals and act protective of them. Becoming vegetarians and taking on many pets are common actions for her children.
  2. Children of Cybele tend to excel at rock climbing, mountain climbing, etc.
  3. Children of Cybele normally love being outside and enjoying what nature has to offer. Even to the point where they possess an intense love and overprotective spirit over nature.
  4. Children of Cybele will often grow up to be zoologists, geologists, veterinarians, ecologists etc.


  • The War of the Heavenly Horses was a military conflict between the Han dynasty and the kingdom of Dayuan. Winning the war won the Han dynasty enough Ferghana horses to build a cavalry strong enough to defeat the Xiongnu in the Han-Xiongnu War. The Han dynasty's victories in the War of the Heavenly Horses and the Han-Xiongnu War let the Chinese armies establish themselves in Central Asia, initiating the Silk Road as a major avenue for international trade.
  • Four bars of a window . . . four drops of tears — represents the death of her identity as Rong, see Chinese numerology
  • . . . to a shining mound. — 敦煌 Dūnhuáng, possible meanings include shining mound
  • . . . an oasis crowned by lotus flowers . . . — oasis = Shule, lotus = her life transforming from dark to good, see Lotus symbolism
  • . . . a field of marjoram . . . — from Sanskrit मरुव (maruva, “marjoram”), to which the name Merv is related to
  • . . . of winds pressing a sweet kiss on her cheek . . . — refers to Shirin, a daughter of Zeus whose name means sweet in Persian
  • . . . of a hill, a place of gathering . . . — refers to Ecbatana, whose name literally means the place of gathering and is thought to be located on Hagmatana Hill (Tappe-ye Hagmatāna), an archaeological mound in Hamedan
  • . . . a small flame . . . — refers to Aynaz, who was a daughter of Hephaestus
  • The lycoris field blooms . . . — lycoris flowers, specifically the Lycoris radiata or red spider lily, are described in Chinese and Japanese translations of the Lotus Sutra as ominous flowers that grow in Hell, (Chinese: 黃泉), and guide the dead into the next reincarnation.
  • . . . the Queen of Cities . . . — one of the titles of Constantinople
  • . . . the mountains of Heaven . . . — refers to the Tian Shan, a large system of mountain ranges located in Central Asia.
  • . . . an eagle and a wolf . . . — refers to the Roman Empire
  • . . . the river whose waters are still.. — refers to the Tiber River. A possible source for the name Tiber is Tiberis/Tifernus, which may be a pre-Indo-European substrate word related to Aegean tifos "still water"